All of this takes place in the flick's first fifteen minutes. The rest of the 61-minute black and white feature is devoted to a stand-off 'tween Jimmy and the police with periodic padding dialog by most of the grown-ups about the Trouble with Kids Today. (Scriptwriter/character actor Leo Gordon gets off the best line as a member of the bystanding mob: "Teenagers," he sneers. "Never had 'em when I was a kid!")
Jimmy's parents arrive so that Mom can call blond Carole a cheap hussy; good-guy cop Glen continues to flirt with waitress Julie; and hard-nosed police lieutenant Porter (Harry Lauter) weighs the advantages of using tear gas on a room where one of the hostages is an infant. In the background, teevee cameras for station KQQQ and a hot-dog vendor show up to take part in the action – like some low-budget version of Billy Wilder's The Big Carnival.
Young Nicholson's a pleasure to watch in his storeroom-bound scenes: growing more jittery as the night progresses, bouncing off of his frightened captives. "I don't know what to do," he moans at one point, and you can hear the sound of a thousand Method Acting workshops in that single exclamation. If at times, there's a brace more braininess behind those eyes than his character is allowed to actually demonstrate, well, that's partly screen inexperience and partly because we know just how smart Nicholson'll ultimately prove to be. He proves much more comfortable in this flick than he'll be in later Corman period flicks The Raven or The Terror.
The movie's stand-off ends anti-climactically – despite a ten-minute countdown sequence where director Jus Addis regularly gives us shots of Lt. Porter's Bulova – with blond Carole delivering a bullhorn speech ("Maybe it's all my fault," she sez, or, "maybe it's everybody’s fault!") meant to tie things up and lure Jimmy out of that storeroom. Once the credits roll, however, we realize that its title is a cheat: nobody was killed. Manny and Al have been taken to the hospital, never to be heard from again, while Jimmy's three hostages all make it out okay: mother and child back in the loving arms of their worried husband, Sam to be inexplicably glared at by Lt. Porter. According to Ed Naha's The Films of Roger Corman, Gordon's full original script was "de-written" by one of Corman's assistants, so perhaps the first draft painted Nicholson's Jimmy as a teary-eyed killer for real. Would've been more interesting if it had.